Rent Control and Material Things
By David Henderson
In a recent article in the New York Times about people living in rent-controlled apartments in New York city is the following telling section:
But having made it through the 15-year real estate boom with their tenancy intact, the O’Neals, who have been careful to keep their household income below the $175,000 maximum allowed for stabilized tenants with rents above $2,000, don’t seem too concerned about any possible fallout from the bust.
“We’re protected by the rent laws,” said Christine O’Neal, Coke’s mother. “I’m 70 years old. It’s not something I think about. I’ve been living here for years and I just want to detach myself from worrying about material things.”
Of course, the fact that rent control protects her from “worrying about material things” means that the owner who takes the loss must do so.